Waymo and Jaguar : Self-Driving Premium Vehicles

Self-Driving SUV’s From Waymo And Jaguar

Self-driving I-Pace SUV’s will be tested by Waymo and Jaguar later this year.

Waymo Luxury I-Pace EV

Waymo is adding a luxury vehicle to its fleet of self-driving test vehicles. Introducing the Waymo I-Pace EV. This electric SUV is expected to be part of the full Waymo fleet in 2020. I the first two years, up to 20,000 I-Pace vehicles will join the Alphabet Inc company’s driverless service. It will be launched later this year. This will give the public a chance to book rides I the driverless vehicles.

I-Pace will be the sixth vehicle to join the Waymo fleet. Among the group are the Chrysler Pacifica, a semi-truck, the cute little test car, and others.

Other Information

Jaguar and Land Rover already have their own self-driving technology which includes off-road capabilities. After a self-driving Uber test vehicle was involved in a fatal accident, companies and regulators are re-evaluating autonomous vehicles.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik said, “ at Waymo, we have a lot of confidence that our technology would be able to handle a situation like that”.

The company’s role in the world, according to Krafcik, is to build the world’s most experienced drivers. He also said that the company is confident with its technology. Waymo has over five million real world on the road tests and five billion miles.

The partnership between Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover will build these self-driving vehicles from scratch. The up to 20, 000 I-Paces would eventually be able to provide up to one million trips a day. Waymo already has a fleet of 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans in operation in Phoenix, Arizona. These are running under the Early Rider Program. This program provides free rides for members of the public who sign up.

Riders are being screened and selected. The basis of selection is the type of trip they want to take. And of course, their willingness to take a driverless vehicle as their means of transportation.

The I-Pace SUV’s will operate alongside the Chrysler Pacifica. It offers a more luxurious mode of transportation, similar to UberX and UberLux taxis.

Uber and Waymo Made a Settlement Regarding Self-Driving

Uber and Waymo settled on self-driving

Uber and Waymo came to a settlement over claims that Uber stole trade secrets from the self-driving company. The settlement money caused Uber to give Waymo a 0.34 percent Uber stake. That is amounting to approximately $245m.

The company also agreed to never use Waymo’s technology in its self-driving cars. Although they insisted that they never did.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive felt regret on how their company handled the issue. In a statement, he said to Waymo, “While we won’t agree on everything going forward, we agree that Uber’s acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently.”

Otto was a self-driving trucking company co-founded by former Google employee Anthony Levandowski. In 2016, Uber acquired it for $650m.

The deal came four days after Travis Kalanick, former Uber chief executive, took the stand in San Francisco federal court. He was accused of plotting a plan to steal 14,000 confidential files from Waymo. Those files were acquired when the firm was still a part of Google. But now, it is already owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

The jury was shown internal emails referencing demands from Mr. Kalanick. He wanted “pound of flesh” from Google. Mr. Kalanick said that he used the phrase from “time to time”.

A visitor’s pass for Mr. Levandowski was also used as an evidence. The pass was dated at a time he was still working at Google.

Uber’s defense was that there was no proof they had used any of the disputed secrets in their technology.

Mr. Khosrowshahi said, “We do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber.”

He added, “Nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work.”

Details of the secrets were not made public, however, it was discussed in closed sessions in front of the jury.

Waymo sought damages against Uber which could have totaled more than $1 billion or an injuction.

Google Revealed its New Self Driving Car Model…

Waymo, Google’s spinoff self-driving car division, has revealed their latest self-driving car model and yes, it’s based on the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. John Krafcik, the chief executive of Waymo, said that this new minivan model will help them learn more about their test markets. This new model is perfect in analyzing the full self-driving experience for different types of people.

Recently, it was announced that Waymo would become an independent operating unit within Alphabet, Google’s parent holding company. The goal is for Waymo to advance and move further on autonomous driving technology.

There were some rumors about the company’s plan in focusing more on partnerships with other motor manufacturers. The tech giant remained quiet about it, but they made it clear that the goal for now is to do further research and learn about the full experience of their target markets on full self-drive mode.

Some reports also claimed that Waymo would be partnering with motor manufacturer, Fiat-Chrysler, in a ridesharing venture next year. If this happens, Waymo would be competing with companies like Uber and Lyft.

According to Krafcik, the new Chrysler minivans are already being tested. They are planning to do some more tests in California where Waymo’s facility is located and at the FCA’s centers in Michigan and Arizona.

Now, the part we’ve all been waiting for. Here’s a first look at the completed self-driving minivan.

Image Credit: IOL.co.za
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